More evidence of the growing police state as hundreds of little police forces in small towns all across America are being given military-grade hardware that is being cast-off by the U.S. military. But, the program is also resulting in a lot of waste and foolishness.
The Associated Press looked at the U.S. Military program of giving unneeded equipment to small police departments across the country and finds that much of what has been taken by these departments is a ridiculous example of unaccountable actions and government waste.
(For more police abuse, see: Eric Holder Implies That Obama Administration Will File Charges Against George Zimmerman)
One of the small departments the AP looked at was the Morven, Georgia PD. Its police chief, Lynwood Yates, grabbed a whole lot of water-related gear. Three boats, scuba gear, rescue rafts, and two dozen life preservers were taken for his department from de-accessed government stores.
But Morven, Georgia, a tiny 700 residents strong, has no bodies water. The biggest body of water they have is a shallow, local creek.
The AP found that there has been little accounting for the items given to local departments. And, naturally, since these police departments have to just ask for the stuff, no one asks if they need it and no one tracks it all once they get it. And theft has resulted.
Some forces have been beset with officers stealing and selling this high-grade military equipment, including guns such as M-14 and M-16 assault rifles.
(For more police abuse, see: July 4th Celebration Gun Shots Result In Police Locking Down Nieghborhood)
But besides all this waste and corruption is a real worry that the police are militarizing themselves.
After all, when one has things one tends to look for ways to use those things, and if small town police departments are arming themselves with high-tech military gadgets, it is sure that they’ll start using them in ways that are shaky on legal justification, not to mention common sense.
“We do know that in 2011, a half-billion dollars of surplus military equipment went to police departments,” John Chasnoff, spokesman for the American Civil Liberties Union, told CBS St. Louis. “We have concerns that the lines between the two [police and military] is starting to blur.”
(For more police abuse, see: Family Sues Police For Seizing Home & Violating Third Amendment)
Want an example of an outrageous use of police assets? Take a recent story out of Wisconsin, for instance. Only days ago members of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources mounted a SWAT Team-like raid on an animal shelter. These fishing cops had bullet proof shields, automatic weapons, and body armor. Why did they raid the place? They found out that the owners had a baby deer that they were nursing back to health and, wouldn’t ya know it, keeping wildlife is illegal in Wisconsin.
So… a SWAT Team raid was needed for such a violation? Apparently these DNR cops thought so.
But the fact is, the DNR had the riot gear so they used it quite despite the good sense or propriety of it all.
(For more police abuse, see: Homeland Security Conducts “Top Secret” Nation-Wide Fourth Of July Operation)
This will happen more and more as these podunk police departments start getting their war-supplies and then start looking for illegitimate ways to use those war-supplies. It is just another way that our “rules” are separating themselves from us and putting themselves in a class above us mere lowly citizens. This was leads to tyranny and violence, maybe even revolution.